Terrell Thomas knows the odds are against him, but that’s just the way he likes it.
After suffering back-to-back ACL injuries that sidelined him for consecutive years, the former starting cornerback hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2010. It’s been a long process for Thomas, who has undergone three ACL surgeries during his career — the first of which came when he was playing at USC — but that hasn’t deterred the sixth-year veteran from trying to return to top-form.
“To be honest with you, I’m able to do everything,” Thomas said. “It’s more just about getting comfortable and trusting myself without hesitating, without thinking, and just reacting, and I’m almost there. Physically, I haven’t swelled up in the last four months. I’ve been progressing every week. Each week I get faster, bigger and stronger, so it’s just a progression. I have to be realistic with myself knowing that I had two ACL [surgeries] in one year and it’s a long journey, but I’ll be back and I’m going to shock a lot of people.”
Thomas was a starter for the Giants from 2009-10. In both of those seasons he led the team in both tackles and interceptions and he seemed poised to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Now, though, he recognizes that he’s an unknown commodity at this point and so he’s just willing to accept any position so long as he has an opportunity to help the team.
“I’m whatever they need me to be,” the 28-year-old said. “I just want to play football. At this point in my career, it’s all about getting healthy and getting on the field and contributing in any way. If that’s a leadership role, a safety role, nickel, corner, kickoff — I’ll do whatever I’ve got to do.”
Thomas believes that he can return to his 2010 form and will eventually be back in a starting role. However, he’s not looking to skip any steps in his comeback, and it has showed in the difference in his approach compared to last offseason. So far this spring, he’s limited himself to individual drills on the side while the rest of the team participated in OTAs and minicamp.
“First I need to get on the field,” Thomas said. “Last year it was all about coming back, getting back to my old ways, being a playmaker, leader, coming back to the same speed of the impression I left in the 2010 season. This year, it’s about getting back on the field.”